WWE Royal Rumble 2020: Complete Card, Analysis, Predictions

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 airs this Sunday, January 26, live on WWE Network. As always the show will feature 30-person Royal Rumble matches for both the men and women’s divisions, as well as title matches for the Universal Championship and both shows’ Women’s Championships. Here’s the complete card as of publication.

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 card:

1. Men’s Royal Rumble Match
2. Women’s Royal Rumble Match
3. Strap Match for the Universal Championship: The Fiend Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
4. Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka
5. Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans
6. Falls Count Anywhere Match: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
7. Sheamus vs. Shorty G
8. United States Championship Match: Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo

As always, we’ve got your complete rundown of the card and analysis below, featuring predictions for all eight matches. The Royal Rumble is always one of the most fun and talked about pay-per-views of the year, so make sure you’re here all weekend for our ongoing coverage, and drop a comment in our comment section below to let us know who you think’s winning.

United States Championship Match: Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo

WWE Promotional Image

What Should Happen: This was very last minute, possibly as a replacement for Rey Mysterio doing something after falling to his doom on Raw, and I don’t normally wish for the show’s good matches to get bumped down to the pre-show, but here’s my call: I hope this ends up on the pre-show by itself, gets like 15 minutes, is built around getting the crowd to actually care about Humberto Carrillo as a character (because his in-ring work is there), and makes both men look better. Andrade having survived that dangerous-ass ladder match on Monday could create some believable drama for a title change.

What Will Happen: The safe bet here is Andrade winning, to help set up what I really hope is a mask vs. hair (and championship) match against Mysterio at the Royal Rumble. Either that, or Mysterio costs Andrade the title TO Carrillo here, and the grudge match happens at Mania without a championship involved. Then you can give Carrillo his own spotlight singles match on the biggest show of the year, defending your flagship show’s second most prestigious championship! Just kidding, he can be in the Andre the Giant battle royal.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – Could this be the time Carrillo finally captures the US title? He’s impressed in matches against AJ Styles, but Andrade has been on a roll recently. Sticking with Andrade to ruin Carrillo’s return to the ring and hold onto the US title.

Emily Pratt – With what seemed like a definitive (televised!) win over Rey Mysterio this week, I think Andrade’s just getting started as U.S. champ. Also, I hope Andrade’s just getting starts as U.S. champ! He and Humberto Carrillo should have a really good match, and I’m guessing it’s the start of a longer rivalry.

Scott Heisel – Part of me thinks Andrade could drop the belt as a penance for letting Rey Mysterio almost die in the ring on Monday night. But it’s far too early for Carrillo to have the strap. I have no problem with him winning the U.S. belt eventually, but it’s too soon. El Idolo retains.

Elle Collins – Humberto Carrillo is obviously a guy with some backstage support, and that probably means he’s got a belt or two in front of him. I don’t think he’s beating Andrade this time, though. Andrade’s barely had the title for a month, and I feel like there’s more he can do with it right now than Humberto. So Andrade keeps it (maybe with Zelina’s help) but Carrillo’s going places in the longer term.

Sheamus vs. Shorty G

WWE Promotional Image

What Should Happen: They wouldn’t bring back a multiple-time Everything Champion in WWE with a trimmed down physique and a return to his classic look just to feed him to a guy they dress like a children’s basketball player and call “Shorty G,” would they? I don’t care if Chad Gable ends up being the Prince That Was Promised, I can’t convince myself to give him any goodwill while he’s “Shorty G.”

What Will Happen: There’s a chance they’ll have … Shorty get his ass beaten for five minutes, counter a Brogue Kick with a roll-up, and win the match. Then he can get destroyed, setting up a rematch for Fastlane (or whatever) that Sheamus dominates and also wins. They seem to like taking two-to-five steps to do a thing that could be accomplished in one, but … yeah, no, Sheamus wins. Let’s just let it end here, and move these guys into other things. Sheamus returning from oblivion because he hates a guy for being slightly shorter than his contemporaries is not an A+ story.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – Picking Sheamus here, and unfortunately I don’t think this one is close.

Emily Pratt – I can’t decide if I want to see these two have a PPV match more than I don’t want to look at Shorty G in his little league basketball uniform. Sheamus will win because he needs momentum on his comeback tour, but I think G does cool stuff that makes everyone wish he was still in American Alpha.

Scott Heisel – Sheamus seems like the obvious pick here, but it also doesn’t really matter if he wins or loses since the crowd will hate him no matter what. So I’m all about Shorty G scoring the flash pin on an overconfident Sheamus, a la 1-2-3 Kid on Razor Ramon. Expect an extended beatdown to follow.

Elle Collins – I predict the tall guy wins. Sheamus, that is. Because he’s tall and not short. Shorty G is short. Short people, am I right? No reason to live.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin

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What Should Happen: Something creative. Having the ability to pick any match type in the world and choosing “falls count anywhere” is hella depressing unless you’ve got a big spot that needs to be immediately followed by a pin. Maybe Corbin can be celebrating on his throne while his security guys hold him up, so Roman builds a makeshift halfpipe on the ramp, runs up it, and spears him off. That’s a joke. At the very least, let Roman chain Corbin to the ring post and beat him to death with a stick.

What Will Happen: They pull a WrestleMania X on us. At that show, Bret Hart lost the opener to his brother Owen, clean as a sheet, and then went on to win the WWF Championship in the night’s main event. I can see them doing that here with Reigns, to give him some vulnerability. Corbin dramatically cheats to win with the help of Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Corbin security, the Roman Reigns dog mascot, and the U.S. Coast Guard or whatever, possibly even “injuring” Reigns so he can show up and win the Rumble with humility (and rib tape). This would work especially well if Lesnar has lasted until the very end, and then Roman shows up. They did the same thing with Becky Lynch last year, so who knows, maybe they’ll do it with Roman and say it’s the “first time ever.”

Also, somebody’s eating dog food.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – This one feels like it could turn into all-out mayhem with plenty of outside interference, but I’ve got Reigns pulling away with the win over Corbin.

Emily Pratt – If this match ends up including creative stuff with the Usos, it could be a lot better than people are expecting. I would like to see Roman win and this feud be over, please, and I think that’s what will happen.

Scott Heisel – As long as this match involves Roman and Corbin brawling through the Astros clubhouse right by a giant monitor and a trash can, I don’t care who wins.

Elle Collins – Surely this is the end of this feud, right? It feels like it’s been going on for years. If it’s the end of the feud than Roman probably wins. Unless he loses so that he can come back later and be more of an underdog for the Rumble. Yeah, that’s probably what will happen, actually.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans

WWE Promotional Image

What Should Happen: Lacey Evans seriously shouldn’t still be getting singles championship matches on pay-per-view, ESPECIALLY not as the good guy. Jesus Christ. I don’t know if it’s the Fox executives, Vince McMahon, or some combination of the two, but the experiment produced harmful results.

What Will Happen: Hoping to God that Bayley retains, whether she has to cheat to win or not, and Lacey goes and hangs out on Main Event for a while while Bayley and Sasha Banks get spots on the WrestleMania card. It’s probably time to just merge the women’s divisions back together again so all the good people can do work and have a purpose, and you don’t have to cart out Sarah Logan for three straight losses to Charlotte, or whatever.

On the positive side, Bayley does usually do her best work against people who aren’t very good on their own, so maybe she’ll pull off a miracle here. I miss being able to talk about how good Bayley matches are.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – I just don’t see the champ dropping the belt here. I’ve got Bayley picking up the win.

Emily Pratt – Bayley and Lacey Evans had a surprisingly good match, besides a heel-face dynamic that I couldn’t get into, on a recent episode of Smackdown, so I’m guessing this will be surprisingly good too. I really hope they don’t put the belt on Lacey, but I’ll be super negative here and say Evans wins, but then, super positively, Sasha Banks takes the title from her, setting up Sasha vs. Bayley vs. at least one other person at Mania.

Scott Heisel – I don’t think Lacey Evans’ face turn has been nearly as bad as some other With Spandex staffers believe — and I’d say the majority of Smackdown’s live audiences the past few weeks are on board with it, too. She’s not ready for the belt, but that’s not gonna stop her from carrying it into the WrestleMania 36 pre-show against, let’s say, Sonya Deville, as Bayley and Sasha Banks finally get to have their one-on-one WrestleMania moment.

Elle Collins – I hate to say it, but I think Lacey might win the title here. The company’s obviously really invested in her, and if they go ahead and put the title on her now she can look like a big all-American heroine for Mania. I’m kind of grossed out by the whole thing, but honestly that’s my prediction.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka

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What Should Happen: Last year’s Becky Lynch vs. Asuka match at the Royal Rumble went 17 minutes and was the jam. I’m good with anything that approximates that.

What Will Happen: I can’t decide if it’s a bad idea or a very WWE idea to keep the Raw Women’s Championshp on Becky Lynch for pretty much the entire year between WrestleManias only to have her lose it right before the next one. I’d certainly like Asuka to have more championships and accolades, but the pragmatist in me says this is when Becky counters the poison mist by wrapping her hands, putting a hand in front of her eyes, and then rubbing it back in Asuka’s face. If Hulk Hogan was smart enough to do it against Killer Khan, Becky can pull it off here. Becky can look tough, sure, but it’d also help if she looked smart. That was the one thing she truly had over Ronda.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – Lynch’s title run is facing arguably its toughest test, and you could say Asuka really deserves a chance to run with the ball into WrestleMania season. I just can’t imagine Lynch dropping the belt here. Going with Lynch.

Emily Pratt – These two had the one match I really remember from last year’s Rumble and I’m guessing they could steal the show (at least, in my mind) again. Because I think they’ll have Becky vs. a heel at WrestleMania, I think she gets her win back against Asuka and retains here.

Scott Heisel – Asuka Two Belts would be tight as hell. It’s not going to happen. As Tinie Tempah once opined, Becky vs. Charlotte is written in the stars.

Elle Collins – This would not be a bad time for Becky to drop the belt. Everybody knows Asuka is her Kryptonite, and it would be great to see Asuka have a strong title run going into Mania to make up for what happened last year. But that’s not how any of this works. Becky’s going to retain the title, finally proving she can beat Asuka and building her up for whatever’s coming next.

Strap Match for the Universal Championship: The Fiend Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

WWE Promotional Image

What Should Happen: Anything, as long as they turn off the red light. Listen to the Police, WWE. You don’t have to put it on. For a serious answer, read below.

What Will Happen: If you’re going into a match against a champion who doesn’t feel pain (to the point of no-selling multiple chair shots, a tool box to a chair to your face, a ladder to a tool box to a chair to your face, 11 Curb Stomps, and a fall into exploding production equipment), why are you challenging him to a match where you hit him with a little piece of leather? I want Bryan to win the championship again and make an appearance at WrestleMania as champion with his short hair and beard — if only to make up for WrestleMania 28, which remains bullshit — but I can’t convince myself it’s possible. Who can stop The Fiend? What is The Fiend’s big secret weakness? Will we ever know? Do THEY know yet?

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – Gimmick matches always give the feeling that the unexpected could happen at any time. It would be baffling for easily the best gimmick going to lose the title. I’ve got Bray in a close one.

Emily Pratt – I’m guessing The Fiend retains because I think they want to give The Fiend a big WrestleMania entrance moment. And I don’t want to bet against Daniel Bryan pulling out a banger, but I think this match will be in the red light and physically difficult to watch, so not good!

Scott Heisel – The last time we saw Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble, Wyatt won the match, and the eventual winner of the Rumble match was booed out of the building because they weren’t Daniel Bryan. Odds of all of this happening again are astonishingly, depressingly high.

Elle Collins – I think the Fiend has to win this. Daniel Bryan’s all about putting guys over these days, and he must know as well as anybody that if the Fiend loses the belt before Mania, his credibility is shot and another Bray Wyatt push has failed. So at the very least, I think Bryan wants to lose this match, and he has some clout so he probably will.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

WWE Promotional Image

What Should Happen: As of publication on Wednesday afternoon — only four days before the actual event — those five women in the promotional graphic are the only announced entrants for the 30-woman Royal Rumble match. So I guess the best thing to type here is, “what SHOULD happen is WWE should care more about its women’s divisions and put effort into booking more than four characters at a time so we could fill this out with interesting personalities and names that might actually cause drama and win.” Otherwise it’s just “Charlotte wins, unless Ronda Rousey shows up.”

What Will Happen: I’d love to see a surprise winner here. As a total NXT homer, my vote is for Shayna Baszler and her henchwomen to show up instead and just wreck everybody. Give me Shayna Baszler challenging Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, please and thank you. Hopeful Final Four prediction, for maximum story impact: Baszler, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Kairi Sane. NXT Women’s Champions represent.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – This one could go so many ways, but I’ve got Charlotte Flair winning the rumble to add to her historic run. I’d imagine the final four looks something like Flair, Sasha Banks, Io Shirai and Alexa Bliss. Going to give myself an out here: if Ronda Rousey returns, she’s winning.

Emily Pratt – For the Women’s Royal Rumble, I’ll guess we get a heel going after the Raw Women’s Championship retained by Becky Lynch, and I’m guessing that heel will be Shayna Baszler. For the final four, I’ll guess Shayna, a returning Naomi, Lacey Evans after losing her Smackdown title match earlier in the night, and let’s say Charlotte Flair. Baszler eliminates Flair to win.

Scott Heisel – Could any less thought have gone into the women’s Rumble this year? As of [the time this prediction was written], a whopping four (4) entrants have been announced, and one of them is Sarah Logan. If Smackdown is winning the men’s Rumble, Raw will probably win the women’s Rumble, so look for an eternally bored Charlotte to lazily point toward the WrestleMania sign this Sunday. The only wildcard here is there are so many open slots that we’re bound to see a ton of NXT women in the match — and maybe even a surprise win for Team Yellow? I won’t bet on it, but I will take credit if I’m right. Final four will be Charlotte, Shayna Baszler, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss.

Elle Collins – I don’t think Ronda Rousey is coming back. If she does, she’s winning this match and facing Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, obviously. But I don’t think it will happen; I think while we’re all speculating about her she’s living happily on her goat farm not even thinking about wrestling. I get why people are predicting Shayna Baszler in Ronda’s absence, but I don’t think she’ll win either (although I do think she’ll be in the match). And if it’s neither of them, I think it’s Charlotte Flair. They’re going to want to find a path to Mania for her, and she made a big deal about announcing herself for the match. So I predict she wins.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

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What Should Happen: If Brock Lesnar enters at number one, the number two entrant should be …

What Will Happen:

I think whatever Brock Lesnar’s doing is the focal point here, as it’s really the only story heading into the match. I don’t see Brock wanting to stick around for a full hour-long match, either, so somebody’s gonna pop in and eliminate him. I’d love it if it were Matt Riddle or Keith Lee, or even John Cena just for the insane Stockholm Syndrome nostalgia, or CM PUNK or whatever, but … it’s probably Roman Reigns. Whoever eliminates Brock should in theory win the match, and then challenge Brock for the championship at WrestleMania. WrestleMania loves its Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar main events.

In a better world, it’d be Kofi Kingston. Kingston needs to make up for that embarrassing championship loss to Brock, and the drama of that would create some pretty big tension heading into a WrestleMania rematch. Imagine the reaction of the crowd if they built that up for three months only for the Mania match to start with Kofi running and Brock and jumping onto his shoulders again. If Kofi reversed it and hit five Trouble in Paradises to the balls or whatever, it’d be a real moment of catharsis for a lot of people.

Let’s combine the two ideas and say the final four is Reigns, Kingston, Randy Orton, and KEITH BY GOD LEE for another big superstardom tease to follow Survivor Series. Let Kofi eliminate Orton, at least.

Staff Picks

Raj Prashad – Every year I overthink this, looking for the next guy WWE is ready to push to that next level, and every year I overlook the easy call. Brock Lesnar is an easy choice, and he’s probably in my final four. As is Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (also in my final four). But I’m going with Aleister Black here. It feels like he’s ready to take that next step. I’m just not sure WWE agrees with me.

Emily Pratt – Unless the Roman vs. Fiend rumors are true, I can’t really predict who’s winning the Rumble besides that it’s almost sure to be a babyface. I know I’m really hoping for Kofi Kingston to win and get his revenge on Brock though. In this scenario, I’d guess the final four are Kofi, Seth Rollins, Buddy Murphy, and some NXT guy who gets a standout performance here, maybe Keith Lee again. Kofi eliminating Seth to win sounds like a good ending to me, and they could just swap Brock back to Smackdown for his four pre-WrestleMania appearances afterward? I don’t know! I’m way more sure Cain Velasquez is eliminating Brock within the first ten entries to set up a rematch at Elimination Chamber though.

Scott Heisel – One of the benefits of WWE having virtually nothing set in stone for WrestleMania yet is that it’s pretty difficult to predict the winner of the Royal Rumble matches. I’m truly enjoying the “Brock Lesnar at No. 1” storyline just because it fits his character so well, and part of me would love a total crowd-revolt situation where Lesnar legitimately dumps all 29 other guys and then fucks off back to his duck blind or wherever. That would get people talking, wouldn’t it? In reality, though, Roman Reigns seems like the obvious answer, so he can dethrone the Fiend at Mania. Doomsday has been absolutely wrecking the Justice League for months now. The only person who can go toe-to-toe with him is Superman, right? Final four will be Reigns, Corbin, Roode and Ziggler, probably.

Elle Collins – Honestly I will not be shocked if Brock Lesnar just eliminates everyone and wins. It’s the most boring and pointless option, and sometimes that’s the direction WWE booking runs in. But let’s be more optimistic than that and predict that there will be some actual drama to the match and Drew McIntyre will come out the winner. Or possibly Roman Reigns. It’s been a while since he’s gotten consistent boos so WWE might want to bring that back.

WWE Network

SURPRISE, HERE IS NUMBER TWO

So there you have it. That’s what we think will happen at the Royal Rumble. Agree? Disagree? You know what to do. Drop down into the comments and let us know, and then make sure you’re here on Sunday night to find out how close any of us got to the actual outcome. It’s gonna be funny when IVAR wins the Royal Rumble, isn’t it?

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